Nokia 'very happy' with Windows Phone, saw uncompetitive Android market


Nokia chose Windows Phone over Android in 2010, and the company is "very happy" with the decision.

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop says he's "very happy" with his company's decision to exclusively develop smartphones with Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system, largely because of the dominance of a single company in the Android market.

Speaking to a group of European journalists, Elop said Nokia saw the potential for a single manufacturer to take most of the consumer market for Android smartphones. 

What we were worried about a couple of years ago was the very high risk that one hardware manufacturer could come to dominate Android. We had a suspicion of who it might be, because of the resources available, the vertical integration, and we were respectful of the fact that we were quite late in making that decision. Many others were in that space already.

Now fast forward to today and examine the Android ecosystem, and there's a lot of good devices from many different companies, but one company has essentially now become the dominant player.

Since Nokia made its decision to partner with Microsoft in 2010, Samsung has become the most popular Android smartphone developer. As its fortunes have increased, however, companies such as HTC have seen profits substantially diminish. The recently released HTC One, for instance, has received critical praise similar to Samsung's Galaxy S4, though the two devices have a vast sales discrepancy. In the first four months, about 5 million HTC One smartphones were sold, whereas Samsung announced sales of 10 million Galaxy S4 phones in a single month.

By comparison, Nokia commands about 85 percent of the Windows Phone market worldwide, while HTC is in a distance second with about 12 percent.

Despite Elop's satisfaction with Nokia's partnership with Microsoft, the smartphone developer has seen substantial losses since the relationship was announced. Nokia announced a $150 million loss for its most recent financial quarter, though sales of the company's Lumia brand of Windows Phone devices have steadily increased.

Source: The Guardian via BGR

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32 Comments

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This is what Elop failed to see. Yes I do agree with him. Having the chance to be the largest seller of Windows Phone potentially and likely looked good on paper. But look at how they are selling. That just sold 7M. If they had been "just another Android OEM", even if they couldnt have been first, the frikkin Lumia running Android would have sold at least 10M on the first model. And this new one the 1020 with all of Android features and Google behind it, would easily but now sold 20M.

The problem is the Lumia is a great device running the wrong OS. Elop basically has to stand behind his decision because he vetted all of Nokia's money on Windows. I see it as a failure to some degree.

Just because HTC isn;t seeing high sales, doesn't mean Nokia wouldnt have. This is what Elop should have saw. After turning his back on Meego, Android is the only OS that is very similar in style and usage to Symbian. Since Android dosent require licensing, and Nokia doesn';t use exFAT becaus ethey arent using external storage, they could have made phones that replaced Symbian.
What he should have did was sell both. Sell Android phones in market where they were already selling cheap Nokia devices like Euro-Asia and also sell mid-range devic ein the US to help them gain so relevance since they have always struggled in the US. Once they gained some traction and show they can compete against HTC, Motorola and LG and maybe Sony; then they could have use Windows Phone for top tier model.

But instead he threw all his eggs in one basket and its working but at a much slower pace. Windows Phones will never be as cheap to make as Android phones can be. Windows Phone also doesn't support all the bells and whistles that Android can.

Elop was basically the trojan horse for Microsoft to get phones done.

Nokia IMO could certainly beat Motorola. In fact the Lumia running Android would outsell any Motorola phone running Android since 2009. I also would say the Lumia would stand good against the Xperia from Sony. It probably wouldn;t beat the HTC per se. But this Lumia 1020 certainly would.

As far as Samsung? Whose to say if Nokia made Android phones, Samsung would be where they are right now. We don't even know. The reason why Samsung is king is because everyone else Android phone sucks compared to the Galaxy S Series. None of the other OEM's have competed against the Galaxy S series. LG is now with the Optimus Pro which right now I think is an awesome phone. But the Note 2 having a stylus and tablet apps is a huge plus for a device that costs the same.

Nokia should have at least took on 2 platforms so in case one was slow, the other would make enough money to help them stand. Selling 7M devices in 3 years in a single quarter is no anything to be happy about when before you were selling over 100M devices per year.

Nokia sold more phone worldwide than any single phone maker. Android dethrone them as a platform, but it took multiple OEM's selling it, while Symbian was just being used by Nokia as far as I know. Why did they risk all that to do a deal with the Devil? I mean, do a deal with Google and help the Devil later.

I think it was a bad move, especially to cut off Symbian at the throat and Meego before it even left the ground.

I guess from a certain point of view, you could read it as: we didnt choose android because we couldn't possibly put our sh*t togeter in time.

Hardly, look at all the dozens of cheap Chinese OEMs producing Android handsets, it's not like Nokia couldn't do it, they just (as has been talked to death) didn't think it was a good idea.

what I meant was that today, a lumia phone with android would be a killer phone. but I understand that back when the decision was taken, they were not at the capacity to build such phones that they are today. seriously, look at how many years it took them to release the N9 (September 2011), which was their only acceptable smartphone to date. The iPhone was announced early 2007.

So I guess if Nokia had chosen the android path, they wouldn't have had the resources to get there in time before samsung in terms of market dominance.

Nokia shouldn't worry, the year of the WP will simply never occur. It'll be too late when they finally realize that the platform was doomed from the very start.

spicoll is that so? who's nokia's main competitor in the feature phone business market? I think that the problem may be that people are just not buying feature phones anymore and that has hardly anything to do with nokia itself. they're simply aiming at the low end smartphones now. so lemme think.

so if feature phones were going to dwindle either way, smartphones was still gonna be the only thing nokia would sell regardless of platform.

yowanvista said,
Nokia shouldn't worry, the year of the WP will simply never occur. It'll be too late when they finally realize that the platform was doomed from the very start.

7.4 mil sold In 3 months is not equating to doomed. 37% increase in phone sales over previous quarter is not equating to doom. Innovation that is not seeing the day of light anywhere else does not equate to doom.

Nokia know's what they are doing. (I honestly think the 1020 is just to gain recognition - the real deal is when GDR3? comes)

if WP success then the WP market will be overcrowded with different OEMs and with different models / prices / deals. So, i don't think Nokia did a good deal.

Brony said,
if WP success then the WP market will be overcrowded with different OEMs and with different models / prices / deals. So, i don't think Nokia did a good deal.

Still talking rubbish I see.

Brony said,
if WP success then the WP market will be overcrowded with different OEMs and with different models / prices / deals. So, i don't think Nokia did a good deal.

Dude, if WP becomes successful, Nokia will be the new Samsung.

Kunal Nanda said,

Dude, if WP becomes successful, Nokia will be the new Samsung.

precisely, which this other guy seems to overlook. When other OEM's start trying, they will be too little too late. Android is overcrowded... Samsung still gets the biggest piece of the pie... ah why do I even try to explain to the other

So.. basically he is happy they don't have to compete against samsung for market share. They have 85% of a market.. but still lost? I'd much rather have 15% and be profitable, than the inverse.

<snipped> samsung has les than 10% in WP, but a lot more in Android, still is the only android OEM that is profitable, so i thing it was te right choice for that, and also because a year ago they were losing like 800-900 million dolars per quarter and now just 150, so you see a big recovery there.... <snipped>

Edited by Eric, Jul 18 2013, 8:01pm :

erikpienk said,
<snipped> samsung has les than 10% in WP, but a lot more in Android, still is the only android OEM that is profitable,

Samsung is not the only Android OEM making a profit. A few others are as well. Not the amount Samsung is making, but a profit none the less.

HTC, despite their issues, is still profiting as well as Huawei and I believe ZTE and Sony as well. Not to mention that MS is making a pretty good profit from Android even tho they dont produce Android based systems.

Edited by Eric, Jul 18 2013, 8:13pm :

firey said,
So.. basically he is happy they don't have to compete against samsung for market share. They have 85% of a market.. but still lost? I'd much rather have 15% and be profitable, than the inverse.

Yes, but take into consideration the amount of effort that has to be put into an android skin and the costs associated with making that differentiation.
At least Microsoft has the backbone to finance all these innovations LIKE the 1020's camera software.

I really don't think Nokia would have lasted with Android.

techbeck said,

Samsung is not the only Android OEM making a profit. A few others are as well. Not the amount Samsung is making, but a profit none the less.

HTC, despite their issues, is still profiting as well as Huawei and I believe ZTE and Sony as well. Not to mention that MS is making a pretty good profit from Android even tho they dont produce Android based systems.

I think this may be HTC's last year making profits. Early 2014 is when I'm expecting them to start losing.

You should get your facts straight. Samsung are not making money on their phones at all. And if you factor in the $1 billion they lost to Apple and the potential 4 - 6 billion they could lose in the case coming up later this year, you'll begin to understand why Samsung are quietly developing Tizen.

Major Plonquer said,
You should get your facts straight. Samsung are not making money on their phones at all. And if you factor in the $1 billion they lost to Apple and the potential 4 - 6 billion they could lose in the case coming up later this year, you'll begin to understand why Samsung are quietly developing Tizen.

Dont know if you are serious or not. Samsung's payment to Apple was reduced by 450 million or so. They do not owe Apple 1.05 billion anymore unless Apple appeals and they win. 4-6 billion is up in the air and shouldnt even be factored in at this point. Still, if Samsung has to pay Apple more, it doesnt take away from the fact that Samsung is making a lot of money off Android. They own 95% of the Android market.

Have to wait and see what happens with Tizen.

erikpienk said,
<snipped> samsung has les than 10% in WP, but a lot more in Android, still is the only android OEM that is profitable, so i thing it was te right choice for that, and also because a year ago they were losing like 800-900 million dolars per quarter and now just 150, so you see a big recovery there.... <snipped>
What you guys keep saying and you all don't get. If Nokia had jumped into Android 3 years ago, there is no guarantee Samsung would be the top dog now. How do you know a Nokia Lumia 900 runnign Android would have sold 50M in one year while Samsung only sold 10M Galaxy S? How do you know if a Nokia 8xx with Android and better hardware, wouldnt have outsold the Galxy S III? How do you know if the Nokia 1020, would have outsold the Galaxy S4/Note 2?

See we dont know and thr landscape could have looked far different if Nokia had been in the game.

What you fail to see is Nokia who was selling over 100M+ phones in cheap markets, basically drop 90% of them to look elsewhere for an option which mostly will go to Android and iOS. What they should have did was choose Android first because it was more like Symbia. This way they could have continued to make cheap handsets for Asian and other places where Nokia was king, and use Windows for top teir sets.

Nokia who has always struggled in the USA, likely would have gained a lot of steam against Motorola and HTC and even Sony and LG.

Who give a care if they would have beat Samsung. Fcat is they didn't have too. They could have had 20% of Android bec they would have killed off Motorola and LG at the least and Samsung would have had a real competitor.

Because I can say for a certainty, if the Lumia 900 has better hardware and ran Android, I would have certainly chose it over the Galaxy S 3. And I would likely choose the Lumia 1020 with better hardware if it had similar hardware as my Gn2.
I am betting others would have too.

In fact I am willing go go on a limb and say...In 2009 when the iPhone 4 appeared and Samsung had the Galaxy S II, If Nokia had a 4.3" Lumia 900 with dualcore CPU and a very nice screen as it has now and those fancy cameras, Apple wouldnt have sold as many iPhone 4's, Samsung maybe wouldnt have sold 20M GSII's.

All you guys and Elop assume they they couldnt compete against Samsung. That is pure BS and a claim you can't factually make. You can only specualte and I say you all would be wrong.

If Nokia didn't have to License an OS, they could have purchased or made great internals for the Lumia 900 for example and sold it for a mid ranged price to the markets where they sold Nokia devices and they would have sold way more devices. In fact, they could have sold them at a lose per device and made far more money in volume vs what they are making now. I guarantee it, and that is without US sales. Because fact is, Nokia was selling over 100M phones per year and almost none were sold in the US, other than cheap prepay phones.

You guys need to go back and read history. Nokia was sellign 100M+ phones in their hayday and now they cant even break 50M and they are slow dying. They are barely doing better than RIM who is dying.

People want iOS and Android. With Nokia as an OEM making very nice phones, Samsung would have had real competition and we would get much better stuff.

I mean think about it...which would you rather have...A Nokia Lumia 900 running Android or a Samsung Galaxy S running Android. Would you rather have a Lumia 925 running Android 4.2.2 or a Galaxy S4 with it? Would you rather have a Note II running Android 4.2.x or a Nokia Lumia 1020 running it?

Let imagine a slim, Android device with a 41megapixel camera with all those cool toys running Android vs an iPhone or Windows Phone., Stop being bias and be honest in your choice. I would say even the iPhone today would drop in sales if today Nokia surprised everyone and dropped a Lumia 1020 right now with a quadcore CPU or the Snapdragon running Android 4.2.2 even without external memory would outsell the GS4 and the iPhone 5 at the very least. Nokia would sell 10M phones within hours. Show me where I am wrong.

Aren't these articles getting a little boring after three years. We all know what the decision was and why it was made. Still, I guess it's good fodder for the fanboys

jakem1 said,
Aren't these articles getting a little boring after three years. We all know what the decision was and why it was made. Still, I guess it's good fodder for the fanboys

Agreed. And this topic in particular has been dealt with quite comprehensibly, by every imaginable tech news outlet, over the past month or so.

Kunal Nanda said,

Agreed. And this topic in particular has been dealt with quite comprehensibly, by every imaginable tech news outlet, over the past month or so.

*comprehensively